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A change in pace occurred at the second town hall meeting about the Conceal Carry Act, as students and faculty voiced their concerns, and advocates of the act spoke up.
At 12 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17 in the Aspen Rooms in the UMC, CU held a campus town hall pertaining to the Concealed Carry Act that was enforced by the Supreme Court as of this spring.
Mimi Wesson, a professor of law, was deeply concerned with the fact that students could potentially carry a weapon in either her classroom or office. Wesson thought that guns on campus detracted from the learning environment at CU.
“I’m sorry, but I’m not persuaded,” Wesson said. “It really is heartbreaking to me to hear people in this room talking about how everyone feels victimized by everyone else. This is so antithetical to the kind of the learning environment that a university should provide.”
Several CU professionals were available to answer questions and discuss key points about the act. Among them were: Chancellor Philip DiStefano, Provost Russell Moore, Managing Senior Associate Counsel John Sleeman, members of the CU administration and Commander Robert Axmacher from the CUPD.
Madison Meyer, an 18-year-old freshman business major, believed that carrying a weapon on campus is important for all students with a permit.
“I think that the right to bear arms on campus helps to keep people safe,” Meyer said. “People who are crazy enough to hurt others won’t care about whether the law says they can bear arms or not, so they would be the only ones armed, and there would be no one else to counter them. So if students have the right to bear arms, it would help to keep everyone by providing a deterrent to criminals.”
Amanda Martone, a 20-year-old junior business management major, supports the Concealed Carry Act, but sees many students who do carry weapons with a permit to be threatened by those around them, including the university.
“I don’t feel anybody should be threatened,” Martone said. “I don’t feel that concealed carry owners should be threatened, and I feel like they have been. I don’t feel that people who don’t have a weapon should be threatened at all. In my own mind, I feel like it’s an irrational fear, but that’s coming from the point where I do not have a weapon currently. I see it is a rational fear if you are uneducated about that so I think there should be more of a push to get the education out there.”
Despite the continued trepidation from students and faculty, Sleeman said that CU’s campus would remain a safe place to teach and to learn.
“Our goal is to make sure the university can carry out its mission of research, teaching and service in a safe manner,” Sleeman said. “We recognize that some people are uncomfortable with the presence of weapons in the classroom carried by someone with a permit. That in and of itself is not a threat.”
The board ensured the students and faculty present that safety is given the highest priority and consequences will be had for those who don’t comply.
“If someone uses a weapon to intimidate anyone, we’ll deal with that appropriately and severely because the Concealed Carry Act doesn’t authorize a holder of a permit to intimidate, threaten or menace anyone,” Sleeman said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Haleema Mian at Haleema.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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